Havelock residents blow horns at Slocum interchange plans

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 20:07 PM.

DOT officials said extending the service road would require the U.S. Forest Service to give up or trade away a historic plot of land that was the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

Jeff Weber, a base worker who has lived in MacDonald Downs for 13 years, said he would be willing to drive the extra bit to access his neighborhood.

"If you’re going to close off that entrance exit from MacDonald Downs, sure, I would like it to stay open," he said. "I would like to have a light there, but it’s too close to the other one. That’s no big deal. If I have to go down and take a left, it’s not going to cost me a lot."

Weber’s issue is with the project itself, which is estimated to cost $20.5 million.

"This whole project makes no sense," he said. "I think it’s a solution in search of a problem. The problem that they say they want to fix over and over again in everything they’ve put out is congestion on 70, and 70 is not congested. It’s one lane on 70 that turns left in the morning, five days a week, maybe for an hour, if it’s a bad day. Otherwise there’s one lane going in and one lane going out of Havelock that is never, ever backed up, so traffic continues to flow no matter what, yet they’re going to spend $23 million plus, because it will never come in on budget to create a situation that all it will do is take the traffic that is sitting out in the left-hand turning lane in the morning, and move it out to an overpass. And it will still be the same congestion. It will have the same amount of cars and have the same backup."

Weber said the traffic flow issue could be corrected with minor modifications to the traffic lights.

"There are so many other ways to fix this," he said. "Look at the light at Walmart. You don’t have many accidents there. You’ve probably got about the same amount of traffic there as you do going in and off base and that’s all done by timing the light. Having a green arrow instead of a flashing yellow."



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